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How Chinese immigrants are transforming Vancouver

By Juwai, 15 April 2013

It is estimated that by 2031 the number of mainland Chinese living in Vancouver will double to 800,000 making up about 25% of the estimated total population of Vancouver. 

Over the 10-year period between 1996 and 2006, the population of mainland Chinese residing in Vancouver increased 88% to 137,245. Vancouver is densely populated by mainland Chinese, so much so that Richmond a city within Vancouver is home to the first city outside of China with a majority-Chinese population. The city of 200,000 exemplifies the ways Vancouver has embraced the Chinese culture, making it a popular destination for many.

However, the increased popularity of Vancouver has also come with some bad news: Vancouver has become the second most expensive city to live in the world, a rank that has resulted from the spike in property value with the increasing demand for homes. Though many wealthy Chinese have purchased homes to live in, many have also left them vacant due to frequent travelling and strong connections back home.

Though there are not exact numbers detailing how many homes have been purchased by Chinese investors, some local real estate agents claim that as many as 80% of their sales have been to Chinese mainland residents.

Vancouver appeals to Chinese because of the fresh air, beautiful environment, and education system for their children, according to a real estate agent interviewed. Given China's prohibition on dual citizenship, mainland Chinese are more likely to have the wife and children in Vancouver while the husband continues to live and work in China.